Reasons and remedy for Muslims’ backwardness amidst Western development
Fatwa No: 24846

  • Fatwa Date:7-3-2012 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 14, 1433
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Why are all Western countries developed in spite of the fact that they separate religion from the state? Why are all Muslim countries not advancing?


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds.  I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

Most Western countries have advanced in physical sciences because the people learned these sciences. However, they only started learning these sciences after separating religion from everyday life and setting up their lives on a secular basis. This happened because the religion they had was not the pure one that was revealed to ‘Eesa (Jesus)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention. At that time, their religion had been distorted and altered; filled with deletions and additions. As a result, religion ran counter to people’s needs and interests, and even to the scientific facts that were taken for granted. The Church – the representative of religion at that time -- did not stop at what its monks and priests had distorted but ordered people to adhere to the religion. It sued and punished any scientist who made discoveries that contradicted their distorted religion, by accusing them of being disbelievers. The Church killed some, imprisoned others and burnt others.

On the other hand, the Church held an unjust coalition with the tyrant rulers as it over-glorified them, and justified all the crimes they committed, on the pretext that this is the religion that all people must submit to.

Amidst these circumstances, people started escaping from the oppression of the Church by abandoning the religion that fought science and supported tyrants. They revolted against that religion, put it aside, and expelled it from all aspects of life -- political, economic, scientific, and moral. This is the story of the separation of religion from the state in Western countries, which is not considered strange for this kind of religion and this kind of Church.

In Islam, the division of religion and state is not possible as it is the revelation of Allaah The Almighty that has been preserved from distortion. Islam is the religion that does not favor anyone; the ruler and the ruled are equal. It is the religion that maintains the rights of people as it does not have any rule that contradicts common interest. It is the religion that promotes learning and encourages people to learn. Moreover, it does not have any text that contradicts scientific facts.

The backwardness that Muslims are suffering from is not because of Islam but because they did not adhere to Islam in the manner they are supposed to. Islam urges them towards power, leadership, and presenting all that is good for humanity. This is actually what happened when the Muslims properly adhered to Islam. They became leaders and established a great civilization renowned by friend and foes alike.

The Islamic nation needs to revert to Islam by including it in all aspects of life. When this happens, we will see Muslim scientists advancing. Islam promises scientists a great reward if they perfect their work. We ask Allaah The Almighty to make us steadfast on the right path.

Allaah Knows best.

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